Decent work for Seafarers

A portrait of a seafarer.
The Philippines is a major supplier of seafarers, providing one-fifth of the word’s 1.2 million seafarers. The living and working conditions of seafarers are distinct from conditions for other categories of workers in that their workplace is their home. Ships remain one of the most dangerous places to work, with high casualty figures for seafarers. The global nature of seafarer employment moreover makes it difficult to enforce laws that protect worker rights. The nature of work and the lack of enforcement of standards make seafarers vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and unfair labour practice.
The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006 is the ILO’s response to protecting workers in the maritime industry. The MLC sets minimum standards for decent work for seafarers, and is a source for enabling laws and policies that focus on the context, needs and issues of Filipino seafarers.

The Philippines ratified the MLC, 2006 on August 20, 2012. As the 30th country, it triggered the Convention’s entry into force. From standards setting up to the post-ratification period, ILO information, tools, guidelines and training programmes have been made available to maritime constituents to strengthen measures to realize decent work for Filipino seafarers through enabling policies, labor law compliance and disposition of labour disputes. The ILO has played a supportive role taking into account the strong commitment and ownership of the government, spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), together with partners - including the Maritime Industry Tripartite Council (MITC) - to implement and promote compliance with MLC, 2006.


Related information

International Labour Standards on Seafarers